In the past few studies I have been demonstrating that The Parable of the Wedding Feast (Matthew 22:1-14) foretells the destruction of Jerusalem and the end of the Old Covenant. I have also been showing how Jesus’ eschatology was being drawn from the Old Testament prophets such as Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea and Malachi. Moreover, when we compare the New Testament epistles with Jesus’ parables, we find a common eschatological theme, showing the coming of the Lord, God’s judgment upon Jerusalem and the Temple, the ending of the Old Covenant and the resurrection all occur in the first century, cir. 70 AD. In this study I hope to show, using the content of Matthew 22, that the very same themes run through the book of Revelation.
Anyone who has ever read the Apocalypse would be able to attest that one of its main events is the destruction of Babylon, that great city, in Revelation 17 and 18. The king in The Parable of the Wedding Feast sent out his armies to destroy the city of those wicked men who had persecuted and killed his servants (Matthew 22:2-7). It is interesting that mystery Babylon, the harlot (Revelation 17:1). was drunk with the blood of the saints and the witnesses of Jesus (Revelation 17:6). The harlot is also called that great city in a number of places in the Apocalypse (Revelation 14:8; 16:19; 17:18; 18:16, 18-19, 21).
In Revelation 21:10 the great city is called the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God. However, in Revelation 11:8 the great city is spiritually called Sodom and Egypt, and is the place where Jesus was crucified! In fact, the only city in the New Testament that is called that great city is Jerusalem. It is Jerusalem that was drunk with the blood of the saints and the witnesses of Jesus (Revelation 17:6), and it was Jerusalem that had come under the wrath of God (Revelation 16:19). It was Jerusalem that had been judged by God and who bore the colors of the Temple and the high priests garments (Revelation 18:10, 16; Exodus 26:1, 31, 36; 28:1, 5-6, 8, 15, 33). Finally, it was the great city of Jerusalem that was burned, which points to the city which the king destroyed in Jesus’ parable (Revelation 18:18; Matthew 22:7).
Additionally, it was immediately after the judgment of the great harlot that mystery Babylon, which was that great city (viz. Jerusalem), that John claims that wedding feast takes place:
And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thundering, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigns. (7) Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready (Revelation 19:6-7).
Jesus’ parables are paradigmatic of the eschatology of the New Testament. The Parable of the Wedding Feast shows the king’s servants were persecuted and killed (Matthew 22:2-7), and mystery Babylon persecuted and killed the prophets of God and Jesus’ witnesses (Revelation 17:6). Moreover, the king in Jesus’ parable burnt the city of those evil men, and that great city, mystery Babylon—Jerusalem—was judged and burnt by God, through the armies of Rome (Revelation 18:10, 18). Finally, after the king had burnt the city of the wicked men, the wedding feast took place (Matthew 22:7-10). Similarly, according to the Apocalypse, after the judgment of the harlot (Jerusalem), the wedding feast took place (Revelation 19:2-3, 6-8).
Contrary to what seems to be popular opinion, the harlot is not the Roman Catholic Church. First of all, the Vatican couldn’t have killed the prophets of the Old Testament. Secondly, according to Daniel 2:44 the Kingdom of God was set up in the days of the fourth kingdom – Rome. One cannot get past Rome to establish the eschatology of the book of Revelation. This would also exclude the resurrection of Babylon in modern day Iraq, which some groups, today, suppose. Such interpretations, simply don’t fit the eschatology of the parables of Jesus. We can either believe Jesus, or modern interpreters of this wonderful book. It comes down to that. As for me, all these things occurred in cir. 70 AD.